Making The Most Of Local Marketing Opportunities And Tactics
Multi-unit franchisees with strong local marketing strategies are the master formula for successful franchise concepts. However, managing multiple locations and optimizing each for maximum engagement and recognition is one of the most challenging tasks a business leader faces.
Keys to successful local marketing include understanding the importance of demographics, community involvement, localization of ads, and brand consistency. It is important to implement local marketing campaigns and outreach. Franchisees who are passionate about their brand and who are connected to their community, offer a personal touch.
Having worked with successful franchise brands in my career, I have had the pleasure of doing business with hardworking, dedicated multi-unit operators who are constantly looking to expand their portfolios. Operating multiple locations is hard work and requires the ability to scale the business quickly. Here are a few ways to help ensure your locations are making the most of local marketing opportunities and tactics:
The Importance of Demographics
Many people see an advertisement exactly for what it is, an advertisement. To help differentiate your business from others means knowing your community and your customer demographic.
As a franchisee who has feet on the ground and an ear to the community, you have access to local insights that can be leveraged to provide a more relevant experience to customers. Take the time to scout your area, know who and where your customers are coming from, identify key opportunities, and develop relationships within your trading area. By knowing your community, you can better market to your customers.
The more focused your demographic data is, the better you can speak to their emotions and get them to consider and ultimately purchase from your brand. Demographics are an essential part of a marketing strategy since they enable you to identify certain features, wants, and needs of your target market. With the right demographic data, you can see who your brand appeals to the most by age, location, gender, ethnic background, income, and hundreds of other variables.
Finding Success with Community Involvement
All individual franchise locations are small businesses and as the owner, you’re a pillar of the community. Making the time to research community events and establish a presence in your area can be challenging. Think about what causes your customers will care about and focus on building a better community in the area.
Compare how the local marketing calendar aligns with the corporate marketing strategy and determine if there are areas you can emphasize and promote on a local scale. Also, consider business-to-business marketing, and look into public events your business can participate in whether it’s joining a street parade or sponsoring a local charity event. These engaging, creative, and varied strategies are a great way to meet new customers, build your reputation as a valuable member of the business community, and foster strategic relationships with key local partners.
Being involved in your community is key to a smart marketing strategy. It has the power to positively impact how your business operates and differentiate your business from your competitors. When you and your business engage in community involvement often and regularly, you ultimately become the face of the brand in your community. In addition to promoting your business, product, and service, you provide a boost to the value of the franchise brand.
Localize Ads and Monitor Traffic
Effectively communicating with consumers is a crucial step for all businesses. Whether it’s digital or broadcast media, direct mailers, or point-of-purchase marketing material, with the proper planning, the right brand messaging to the right audience can help drive brand awareness and sales.
With today’s technology, you can target a demographic with a focused niche. Many social media and digital ads focus on distributing content to a specific audience through demographic, psychographic, and geographic trends to identify potential customers. These campaigns will include a localized aspect that can help drive customers to visit locations close to them.
Monitor customer traffic to learn where they are coming from and evaluate your communication efforts. Are customers using a specific coupon code from the advertisement listed on a paid social ad on Facebook? How many people have clicked on the trackable link to receive a buy one, get one? Understanding these analytics will help you determine whether a marketing medium is effective by tracking redemption and return on investment.
Find Support From Your Franchisor to Ensure Brand Consistency
Another benefit of being a franchisee is access to world-class marketing professionals, agencies, and support. Consult your franchisor about how they can help develop a winning local franchise marketing strategy. Particularly if you are new to multi-unit marketing, it is wise to take advantage of the franchisor’s expertise whenever it is available.
A great marketing campaign requires coordination between the franchisor and franchisee. Whether it’s digital, radio, broadcast, or print, it’s critical to communicate brand-consistent messages throughout all marketing channels. Most franchise brands have creative assets readily available so there’s no need to spend time and money developing new content. By collaborating with your franchisor, you ensure that your local marketing materials are in line with corporate messaging, brand standards, and existing copyrights and trademarks, which helps to grow an even stronger brand nationwide. It’s a win-win for all.
Most franchisors can also provide public relations, social media, marketing, design, and digital initiatives to support your local campaigns. From generating publicity to exposure for your business’s grand opening, the franchisor can also provide valuable assets, resources, and a team of experts that can help provide direction for your local advertising campaigns.
Your local marketing may vary based on the needs and demographics of your trading area. Knowing your demographic and implementing a local customized marketing strategy can go a long way in generating leads, converting them to sales, and building strong brands within your communities. By understanding your demographics, getting involved in your community, localizing ads, and maintaining brand consistency you will have the tools to execute successful local franchise marketing campaigns.
Rob Elliott is executive vice president of Marketing at Hungry Howie’s.
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